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Old 05-15-2011, 05:31 PM
 
3 posts, read 20,302 times
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My husband has a good shot at a job close to King of Prussia, PA...in which case, we'd be moving this summer!

I'd love to find a great small town...close-knit community, nice outdoor things to do (parks, etc.)...that's a reasonable commute distance (15 - 40 min) to KOP. We're looking north and west. We'd love to have an old farmhouse on 1 - 3 acres (or more!) and are looking in the 200k - 300k range. NOT looking for generic-type suburbs with look-alike houses but would like to be reasonably close (20 min?) to a YMCA and a few 'big box'-type places like Target.

Does this small town exist? I was getting excited about Pottstown but read all about the crime and the 'cancer cluster' there, so that makes me a little nervous. Also read about Limerick and the nuclear reactor there...no thanks!

We live in a state capital now and we're anxious to get back to a quieter lifestyle - but not so isolated that we can't make friends or get involved in our community!

No kids yet but soon, so school districts will eventually be a consideration.

Any ideas? I'd love some advice.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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Exeter township has all that( shopping wise). Oley is a small historic country town that sounds like you want also for a farm like setting. Both would be in your price range and housing varies. Wyomissing, or Wyomissing Hills has that close knit vibe, they got national recognition for their neighborhood community activities. But home prices there are higher.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: SouthEastern PeeAye
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Royersford, Phoenixville, Pottstown (ignoring the negativity you read, it''s not that bad, especially the outlying areas) and lesser so Collegeville come to mind.

Your "requirement" of somewhere between KOP and Reading means Rt 422, and that is both a blessing -- a main arterial highway, therefore development of all types is concentrated along that corridor, and a curse -- heavy commute time traffic, and more recently heavy weekend traffic.

Other than the above towns, you'd have to go all the way into Reading and it's close in suburbs (West Reading, Shillington, West Lawn, Wyomissing) to get the amenities you list. Of these latter areas, Wyomissing would be my top pick.

One more thing, your request for an old farmhouse, 1-3 acres and up, and your price range are very restrictive, and are almost mutually exclusive to the small town, close knit community and parks and things to do request. What comes to mind here are the small towns (and calling them a town is a stretch, a village at a crossroads is more accurate) along Routes 100, 662, and 73.

Rt 100: Gilbertsville, Boyertown, Barto, Bechtelsville, Bally and maybe as far north as Hereford.

Rts 662 and 73: Douglasville, Amityville, Yellowhouse, Oley, and maybe as far out as Blandon. Anywhere between the area delineated by Rts 662 and 73 and 422 would also work for this, it's an area of country living intermixed with active farming areas. I'd also add possibly Elverson and Morgantown for the 'farm house' near civilization possibilities.

All of these small towns will have 15 min +/- drive access to some big stores, Target, Wal-Mart, Sams Club, etc.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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Thank you so much for your help! I'll start checking these places out.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:49 AM
 
Location: The greatest state of all Western PA
111 posts, read 179,995 times
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I lived in Reading area for about 5 years and if I had to choose I would Phoenixville it appears to be a nice older town and blobfest is there.
The town has a site you can check out to see what is in the area.
Good luck to your hubby with that job
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,107 posts, read 15,372,173 times
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1) Phoenixville
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:03 AM
 
3 posts, read 20,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeAye Native View Post
Royersford, Phoenixville, Pottstown (ignoring the negativity you read, it''s not that bad, especially the outlying areas) and lesser so Collegeville come to mind.

Your "requirement" of somewhere between KOP and Reading means Rt 422, and that is both a blessing -- a main arterial highway, therefore development of all types is concentrated along that corridor, and a curse -- heavy commute time traffic, and more recently heavy weekend traffic.

Other than the above towns, you'd have to go all the way into Reading and it's close in suburbs (West Reading, Shillington, West Lawn, Wyomissing) to get the amenities you list. Of these latter areas, Wyomissing would be my top pick.

One more thing, your request for an old farmhouse, 1-3 acres and up, and your price range are very restrictive, and are almost mutually exclusive to the small town, close knit community and parks and things to do request. What comes to mind here are the small towns (and calling them a town is a stretch, a village at a crossroads is more accurate) along Routes 100, 662, and 73.

Rt 100: Gilbertsville, Boyertown, Barto, Bechtelsville, Bally and maybe as far north as Hereford.

Rts 662 and 73: Douglasville, Amityville, Yellowhouse, Oley, and maybe as far out as Blandon. Anywhere between the area delineated by Rts 662 and 73 and 422 would also work for this, it's an area of country living intermixed with active farming areas. I'd also add possibly Elverson and Morgantown for the 'farm house' near civilization possibilities.

All of these small towns will have 15 min +/- drive access to some big stores, Target, Wal-Mart, Sams Club, etc.
We had been looking at a property on the outskirts of Pottstown, on the south end, by Unionville/Schuylkill Road. I'm guessing that's fairly rural, but I'd read about gang activity in Pottstown, that it's kind of a depressed area that never recovered from the steel industry pulling out, problems with schools, higher crimes than surrounding towns...do you know if any of this is true? Oh, and the landfill problems. I know that no area is 'perfect' but I want to be well-informed when I'm looking around. Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
5,523 posts, read 8,668,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frances123 View Post
We had been looking at a property on the outskirts of Pottstown, on the south end, by Unionville/Schuylkill Road. I'm guessing that's fairly rural, but I'd read about gang activity in Pottstown, that it's kind of a depressed area that never recovered from the steel industry pulling out, problems with schools, higher crimes than surrounding towns...do you know if any of this is true? Oh, and the landfill problems. I know that no area is 'perfect' but I want to be well-informed when I'm looking around. Thanks for your help!
Pottstown is generally a blue-collar, middle-to-lower-middle class town. The housing prices are definitely more reasonable there, and there's really a close-knit community feel there with a main street that is holding its own. You've heard right, though, that it is still recovering from the loss of industrial jobs (a common story in far too many Pennsylvania towns, but I digress). I think the higher crime in Pottstown is much more due to petty things like property damage; violent crime, while not non-existent, is really not the norm there. I'd also be lying if I said I've never heard of any environmental issues in Pottstown (i.e., cancer clusters), but I think some of it may be sensationalized. However, the town does have a strong industrial past, and unfortunately there are some environmental issues that likely still linger in parts of the Borough (water/soil contamination). FYI, the landfill is now closed there. At any rate, I'd recommend looking into crime stats/environmental ratings by neighborhood before settling on a property, since those things can be highly localized.

As for other communities to look into, I don't blame you for steering clear of Limerick (having a front seat view of a nuclear reactor wouldn't be my cup of tea, either). Overall, I think Phoenixville vicinity really fits everything you're looking for. You can find something to the effect of a nice farmhouse that's relatively secluded (rural "feel") within your price range while being close to a close-knit community with a good school district, relatively equidistant to Philly and Reading, and close to tons of shopping.


Good luck!
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